How To Get Tar Off Shoes
Tips For Getting Tar Off Shoes
Tar is one of those useful substances that we see in many places around us. It’s used as a binding agent for asphalt and many people use it to seal and waterproof around the home. Tar is sticky, dark, and relatively unsightly. When it cools and hardens, it’s incredibly durable and will last for a really, really long time.
Normally we don’t mind seeing tar around us until we get it on our shoes. Then it can be an absolute nightmare. The same properties that make it one of the toughest substances for roads and other applications make it really difficult to remove from shoes.
It is possible to get tar off shoes but be prepared to invest a considerable amount of time and effort.
1. Grab A Picnic Knife
We all have a bunch of plastic picnic cutlery lying around the house so find the stash leftover from your last picnic in the park and grab a plastic picnic knife. Using the sharp edge, scrape off as much of the gunk as you can. Scrape it off as gently as you can as you don’t want to dig into the material of your shoes and destroy them completely.
2. Toothbrush Time
The next step is to grab an old toothbrush and dip it in a mixture of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Use a good quality dishwashing liquid, preferably with degreasing properties. Once you’ve dipped the toothbrush in this mixture, run the soft bristles of the toothbrush over the affected area. Gently scrub away as much of the tar as you can. You may need to repeat this process several times. This will loosen up more of the tar so once again, use the plastic picnic knife to scrape off the tar as you loosen it and keep repeating with the toothbrush until all the tar is gone.
The toothbrush and detergent will get most of the tar off your shoes, but depending on the materials your shoes are made of, you may not be successful in getting rid of all the tar. Spray a little WD-40 over the stain and let it soak in for a minute or two. Grab that toothbrush again and scrub over the area and repeat until all the tar is gone.
4. A Final Wash
Once you finally get rid of all the tar, you will need to give your shoes a good wash to remove the residue from the detergent and the WD-40. Sneakers and some similar styles of shoes can be washed in the machine, but if you’re in doubt, rinse them under running and use a sponge to wash away the residue. Let your shoes air dry completely before you start wearing them again.
Stubborn Tar Stains
Some tar stains are a lot more stubborn than others and you may need to use something a little stronger to get the tar off your shoes. You can use baby oil to try and loosen the tar. Baby oil acts as a lubricant so much of the tar will slide right off.
There are also specially designed substances that target tar. These are available in most stores selling auto parts and accessories and you may even be able to find them in some supermarkets. However, play it safe and do a spot test on your shoes to ensure this substance does not destroy your shoes.
Dos and Don’ts Of Removing Tar From Shoes
- Don’t leave the tar on your shoes until the next day. Once it hardens, the tar will be almost impossible to remove. Remove the tar as soon as you are aware of it.
- Don’t use sharp objects to remove the tar. Although you will only be scraping the tar off your shoes, your hand can slip and the sharp object can damage our shoes.
- Do use a good quality dishwashing liquid or a degreaser that is not caustic.
- Do be prepared to spend a lot of time cleaning the tar off. This is a process of scrape, scrub, rinse, and repeat. You may need to repeat several times before you get the desired result.
Tar on shoes is nasty but it doesn’t mean you need to throw away a perfectly good pair of shoes. With these great tips, you can get rid of the tar instead of your shoes.